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Rollerblade vs Skateboard: What’s the Difference?

Learning to rollerblade or skate may seem very different at first, but when you know a thing or two about it, you would see that they have more in common than you thought. What do they have in common, and what sets them apart, those questions can open your eyes, and even help you to gain a new skill.

So what is so different about them? Rollerblades are made of two to five wheels that are placed in a single line, and you get one for each foot, while a skateboard has two sets of wheels – one pair at each end. They have many differences, and riding technique is one of the biggest.

But the differences are just starting, and there is more. From this article, you will learn all the details that set them apart and many interesting facts and information about them.

So what is so different about them?

Rollerblading is more challenging, it includes intensive work for more muscle groups, and when done correctly, moving with a rollerblade is almost twice faster than with a skateboard. Also, if you have problems with joints, incline rollers would be a better choice.

But there must be more than that, you ask? Yes, there is. I will show you in detail, what are the key differences between them, but I will not stop there. I will cover a list of interesting questions and topics regarding these two activities that you never thought about but will find interesting. Let`s go!


Rollerblade And Skateboard – So Different, But Also Similar

I know a lot of people who know to skate and to incline skate. They didn`t want to choose, so they covered both. Others had their favorite, depending on their liking. But what I always heard was that they have some common ground and that it is not that hard to learn the other when you learn the first.

Rollerblading tend to be easier to learn, and there are more reasons for that. When rollerblading, you are standing on your feet, and the blades cover a small area, which makes it somewhat easier to keep balance.

The first thing you need to learn is to take little steps. You place one foot in front of the other, and keep yourself stable and moving. From there you learn to rollerblade.

On the other hand, riding a skate requires only one foot, while you use the other to push yourself forward. Also, you are standing on a board that is large, and dividing the weight can be tricky. At every moment you need to know where to stand and how, because you can easily lose balance and fall over.

Besides these basic distinctions in the technique, there are also the questions of choosing and maintaining direction and stopping the movement.

On rollerblades, you are moving in the directions of your toes, while on the skateboard the foot that is on the board is the one that determines the direction. In both cases, for changing the direction you need to use your foot, ankle(s), and shins.

Another big part of using either a rollerblade or a skateboard is stopping, of course. If you don`t know how to stop, you may end up who knows where.

For either contraption, there are a couple of ways to stop. For a rollerblade, you can pull your feet backward and use the brakes on the back of the blades, and for a skateboard, you can put pressure on the back of the board so it comes in contact with the ground.

These are the basics you need to know to stop yourself. There are other techniques, on the rollers these are T-stop, plow stops, power slide, while on a skateboard there are slide stopping and power sloping.

When starting rollerblading or skating, many of us think about it as a part of physical exercise. Where do these two stand when they are compared? They are not that similar, because different muscles are used.

When you are rollerblading you are walking or running only in a much demanding way. You are using all muscles in your body to move, stop, and keep balance.

If your primary goal is psychical activity, rollerblading is a better choice. More muscles are activated, and calories are burned at a faster rate. Also, joint injuries are more common when skateboarding, because there is a lot of pressure on the knees and the ankle and the foot that is doing the pushing.

Rollerblade Skateboard
Muscles used Whole-body Lower body
Speed 8 – 16 mph (flat terrain) 5 – 12 mph (flat terrain)
Impact on joints Little impact High impact on knees and ankles
Calories used 500 – 1000 per hour 350 – 570 per hour

FAQ About Rollerblades And Skateboards

Q: Is it easier to learn skateboarding or rollerblading?

A: It all depends on your preference. They are both hard to learn, and both have ups and downs. A plus for a skateboard is that you can jump off it at any moment, while in blades, you can’t because you are wearing it like shoes.

On the other hand, skateboarding can be pretty painful to learn, because you will fall time and time over. In both cases, you need to be prepared for some pain.

Q: How long does it take to learn to skateboard or rollerblade?

A: Again, this cannot be defined for all people. Some have a preference for one or the other, but that is not an obstacle to learn even both. In most cases, the basics of rollerblading can be learned in a couple of hours.

A similar period is for skateboarding. If you want to know how much time is needed to master it – it all depends. Talent, dedication, everything has its take, like for anything.

Q: Why is rollerblading not popular?

A: There are several reasons for the fall of the popularity of rollerblading. First, the lack of facilities where you can ride safely. Then there are not enough coaches who are willing to share their knowledge.

And marketing takes a part in the downfall of rollerblading – it was presented as a sport that promoted freedom and enjoyment, but most of the young beginners were frustrated because it was really hard to learn it.

They kept falling, injuring themselves, and they didn`t see that in the commercials. And the final blow was the development of computer gaming and visual arts.

Q: Is skateboarding hard?

A: It sure is. You need to learn to balance and move in a completely different way than you are used to. The whole body is in leaned position, and you need to push yourself with one foot while keeping the balance with the other.

It can be really hard, and before starting to learn it, you should get all the protective gear, like helmet, knee, and elbow guards. It may look easy when you look at a pro, but he worked hard to get there, so be prepared for a lot of constant training.

Q: What skateboarders think about rollerbladers?

A: The rivalry between the two is active for decades, and it is well known that the skateboarders have a kind of hatred for the bladers. The main issue is that the skaters think that blading is easy to master, while they need to fall and injure themselves all the time. But in reality, rollerbladers injure themselves more often.

Maybe you are not a skater or a blader, but I hope that I spiked some interest in this topic for you. In the end, they are both a type of physical activity which is good for the health and choosing to learn these activities can be great for your body and your mind.

James Smith

James is a passionate explorer and the creative mind behind, a platform dedicated to unraveling captivating distinctions. With an insatiable curiosity, he uncovers hidden nuances in various aspects of life, from cultural traditions to scientific phenomena. James believes that appreciating differences fosters personal growth and societal empathy.